Think about one or two of the most brilliant people you have worked or even just had a brief encounter with. You can bet your bottom dollar that they all share a common trait. Besides having grit, I would say they all possess excellent oral and written communication skills. If this isn’t true, you just might be hanging out with the wrong crowd. Having a good command of English and using correct grammar in the way you speak and write are very important aspects of self-improvement and clearing your path to success.
Here are the 8 most common grammatical errors you must avoid saying or writing starting today and become that brilliant person anyone has ever met.
1. With regards to.
This is such a common mistake maybe because to say it with an s rolls off the tongue better than to say just “with regard.” I personally keep a list of local celebrities with flawless grammar (talk to me, let’s share notes!) and a few good ones have fallen off it because of this. Even the best fall down sometimes so don’t fret, you can get one over them by having better grammar. Remember that less is more, remove the s unless you really meant to say hello!
2. Luggages and baggages.
Their plural forms are just luggage and baggage. Deal with it. Let the auxiliary or helping verbs (e.g. is, are, was, were) identify their forms to be either singular or plural. Our luggage were found in another carousel. “Were”, in this example, is enough to say you have more than one luggage. You haven’t heard anyone say “excess baggages”, have you? If you have, tell them to the Nazis!
3. Every Mondays, every Tuesdays. every Wednesdays.
To say “every”, in this context, while it also refers to a repeating instance, you’re actually only pertaining to a particular day in the week which therefore is just singular.
4. 1st year anniversary.
The etymology of anniversary is annus or year hence to say “year” with “anniversary” is redundant. Don’t make me repeat it.
5. Share to.
Prepositions, in general, are a tricky bunch. You will need lots of practice, plenty of experience and research to master them. As a simple trick, remember that sharing is done WITH and not TO someone. You get some, he gets some, they get some, everyone gets some if something is shared.
6. Did (past tense).
This is, hands down, the most cringing one of them all. One time, during a job interview, the HR person came up to me and asked, “What did she told you?” referring to my interviewer. At that instance, I removed eye contact, hurriedly finished my interview and after I was done, left in a rush, made a beeline for the door and hoped to not hear from them again. Some people size you up based on your grammar so always be ready and up to the test. To be technical about it, using the past tense of a verb after a “did” is redundant because “did” is already in the past tense. And besides, doesn’t it already sound wrong? Most of the time, if it doesn’t sound right, it’s wrong. So trust your instinct.
7. On January.
On February. On March. This is on point, wrong. In referencing dates, you use “on” to refer to a particular date, say, “On January 01, we drink!” and “in” to refer to just a month, a year or both, say, “In January 2019, we start a new fiscal year.“
8. Your vs you’re.
Their vs They’re. Its vs It’s. This is a tricky one because, besides that they sound the same, we may confuse the apostrophes with the possessive cases, especially for “it’s” since it also ends with an “s”. In most cases, we inadvertently use the shorter versions for the longer ones than the other way around out of carelessness which tells us that we should only be a bit more anal when writing these. My little tip is to pause and always expand their long versions in your head, like “you’re” is actually “you are”, “they’re” is “they are” and “it’s” is “it is” and so by default, those without apostrophes become their possessive cases.
Which of these are you guilty of? Tell us below!